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Currently | Lots of Linking and Blog Building

currently march 1 2015

Briefly | I spent a good chunk of time yesterday doing some behind the scenes blog work, upgrading my current theme, then trying to make the blog do and act like I want it too. This is still a major work in progress, so I hope you’ll forgive the mess for the next few weeks while I keep tweaking.

Time and Place | 7:30 a.m. at my desk, trying to enjoy my fourth weekend bundled up at a home.

Eating and Drinking | My second Whole30 is officially done on Wednesday and I’m really ready to be done. I’m glad I tackled this eating challenge a second time (read about my first here), since it reminded me it’s possible to eat well if you put some effort into it, but I’m just kind of over it at this point.

Reading | I just finished one book this week, The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson (March 24 from Little, Brown). It was delightful and weird and heartfelt, although a little hard to follow because of some of the genre elements that popped up. Overall though, I loved it. Since finishing I’ve been dipping in any out of some nonfiction — The Monopolists by Mary Pilon (secret history of Monopoly!) and Water and What We Know by Karen Babine (essays on water and the ethic of place). I got no reading done yesterday — thanks blog updates — so I’m hoping to settle in for a bit later today.

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Under Construction: Blog Updates In Progress

under construction

Hey everyone! Please pardon the mess around here. I’m in the process of upgrading the design for the blog, so things are going to look a little wonky for awhile. The upgrade should make the site look a lot better on mobile devices (responsive design!), and give me a chance to do some other cleaning up. Fingers crossed things look great by the end of the weekend. Thanks for your patience (and, if you’re reading this in a feed reader or via e-mail, click through to see what’s happening)!

Photo Credit: Stavos via Flickr Creative Commons
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In My Mailbox: February 2015

After being (relatively) responsible with my book purchases in January, I went pretty bonkers with new books this month. I don’t feel guilty about it, exactly, but I do have some concerns about shelf space.

I do, however, have an embarrassing excuse for some of this. My sister and I recently got new credit cards with some airline mile perks to help offset a trip we’re planning this fall. We have to put a certain amount on each card in two months to get our bonus. I thought this would be easy… then discovered my grocery store and pharmacy don’t take American Express! I used this little setback as an excuse to buy a bunch of books — I need them for my miles, right? Yes, I know this is a terrible excuse.

Anyway, on to the books!

february bought books

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One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a pretty good book is that it gets over-hyped. I love gushing about books as much as the next reader, but sometimes a book can get praised so highly that it’s impossible for it not to be disappointing. The two books I’m writing about today both had a lot of hype when they first came out. One held up, while the other didn’t quite survive the marketing madness.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

americanah

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion – for each other and for their homeland.

Man, how many things did I love about Americanah? So many things. It’s just such a quietly funny and incisive novel about race and family and how our relationships are affected by where we come from and the identities we carry. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie doesn’t hold anything back as Ifemelu makes her way through some less-than-flattering parts of modern America, but it felt like she approached her commentary with a generosity of spirit. The book does suffer, a bit, from sections with dialogue-as-lecture, but the parts I loved far outweighed that small annoyance. I highly recommend picking this one up.

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Currently | Frozen in Real Life

currently february 22

Time and Place | 8:00 a.m. on my couch, with my warmest fleece blanket on my lap.

Reading | It’s been a really fantastic week of reading. I finished three books: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, and Americanah by Chimamande Ngozi Adichie. They were all great, in their own ways — I’m hoping to have reviews up within a few weeks. I just started The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson (out in March from Little, Brown). It’s delightfully weird so far.

Watching | The boyfriend and I went to see The Imitation Game last night. It was pretty good — excellent acting, but the script felt a little lacking.

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